(UPDATED) Notre Dame High School fell to Division II, Class AA, region opponent Christian Academy of Knoxville 26-6 on Friday night.
Injuries have plagued the Irish this year as the causality list rose to seven players. A notable injury form this game was senior quarterback Dallas Brown, who left the game late in the second half with a shoulder injury.
“We have lost four DB’s (defensive backs), our starting left guard, Jeff (Watkins Jr.) was our sixth and now Dallas (Brown) is number seven.” Notre Dame Head Coach Charles Fant said.
Back in week four against Grace Christian, senior running back Jeffery Watkins Jr. injured his shoulder and has not featured since. Watkins Jr.’s offensive presence has been missed as he had racked up 608 yards on 83 carries and tallied 11 touchdowns. Since he went down the Irish have failed to score more than 7 points.
The one bright spot for the Irish on the night came midway through the first quarter when junior George Fillauer scored on a 27-yard rush to give Notre Dame a brief lead. The extra point attempt was blocked to make it 6-0 in favor of the hosts. Fillauer finished with 104 yards and a touchdown on 18 attempts.
CAK responded with a touchdown of their own as junior quarterback Ryan Degges found fellow junior wide out Caleb Sparkman on a 21-yard touchdown pass to take the lead 7-6.
Notre Dame’s next two drives resulted in punts while CAK deposited 13 points to the scoreboard on their two drives. Degges scored on a 1-yard quarterback keeper and threw another touchdown to Sparkman for 24 yards – extra point was blocked – to make it 20-6 at the half. Degges was 19 for 32 for 271 yards and touchdowns.
Both defenses played well in the second half, not really allowing either offense to get any momentum. The Warriors did manage a 12 play 55-yard drive, but were denied a touchdown by the stout Irish defense. The visitors settled for a 19-yard field goal that was put through the uprights by senior kicker Zander Tonkin. Tonkin would make another 19-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to make it 26-6.
“I tip my hat to Coach Mozingo (CAK Head Coach) and those guys, they made timely calls in the first half that got them those plays,” Coach Fant said. “We had our opportunities to stop them – we absolutely did -, but they just made plays; it’s as simple as that. That was the difference in the game.”
Notre Dame finished totaled 167 yards of offense with 146 of those yards coming from running the ball. CAK accumulated 347 total yards of offense with 271 of those yards coming through the air.
Notre Dame (2-4, 1-3) will host undefeated McMinn County (6-0, 3-0) next Friday at 7:30 p.m.
CAK (6-1, 2-1) will host region foe Boyd Buchanan (5-1, 2-1) next Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Notre Dame 6 0 0 0-- 6
CAK 7 13 3 3—26